It's painful to watch conservative writers sanitize Bennett's remarks. He "did not suggest that [the black crime rate] is high because of something immanent in the black condition," McCarthy argues. "He was merely dealing with life as we find it. And that, of course, holds forever open the possibility that if the conditions inducing people to behave a particular way were changed, their behavior, too, would change." If only Bennett had said that. If only he had confined his comments to the crime rate as we find it, leaving open the possibility that the next generation of blacks might differ from the last. But that's exactly the possibility he foreclosed. Shame on him.
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